Book Contract with Inspired Quill

I’m happy to announce that I’ve signed a book contract with Inspired Quill to publish The Wind Reader in September, 2018.

Inspired Quill

Inspired Quill is a small, UK press that thinks of itself as a “social enterprise,” meaning it looks to give back to the community. I’m very excited to be working with them.

The Wind Reader

People often ask writers how they get their ideas. Embarrassingly enough, I got the idea for The Wind Reader from an old television show called “Psyche.” The central character in that show was pretending to be a psychic. As sometimes happens in real life, the police asked him to help solve a case. He did so by being extremely observant, a skill that helped him as a false psychic too. When he succeeded in finding the killer, he was stuck being a fake for the foreseeable future.

That struck me as an engaging concept. I wondered how it could be fit into the traditional fantasy I typically write. It occurred to me that a fake wizard or magician could be in the same kind of fix. What fun!

A twitter description of The Wind Reader would read:

Street kid accidentally tells true fortune for prince. Becomes royal fortune teller. Good? Food and a warm bed. Bad? He can’t tell fortunes.

A fuller description would read:

Stuck in a city far from home, street kid Doniver fakes telling fortunes so he can earn a few coins to feed himself and his friends. Then the divine Powers smile on him when he accidentally delivers a true prediction for the prince and is taken–dragged?–into the castle to be the royal fortune teller.

Or was that smile just scornful laughter? Concerned about rumors of treason, the prince demands that Doniver use his “magic” to prevent harm from coming to the king, a ruler Doniver hates. In the meantime, someone wants Doniver gone from the castle and possibly from the face of the earth. To Doniver’s dismay, the most likely assassins are from his home in the Uplands.

Now Doniver must decide where the boundaries of honor lie, as he struggles to work convincing magic, fend off whoever is after him, and stop an assassin, assuming he can even figure out who the would-be assassin is. All he wants is to survive long enough to go home to the Uplands, but it’s starting to look as if that might be too much to ask.

Available in September 2018

How Studying Engineers Surprisingly Matches Writing Fantasy

I’ve spent a huge portion of my adult life researching the writing of engineers. I won six national awards for that work, including one from IEEE. You’d think nothing could be farther from writing a middle-grade or YA fantasy. When I wrote my first novel, however, I realized I was still doing some of the same work. First, I was making the familiar strange and the strange familiar. And second, even more important, I was trying to understand the workings of power. Continue reading “How Studying Engineers Surprisingly Matches Writing Fantasy”